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Registry - Project Details
Lying within the Chilterns Ancient Woodland Concentration, Heartwood Forest is, at 345 hectares (858 acres), the Trust’s largest site in England. Located immediately to the north of the village of Sandridge and close to the Roman town of St Albans, the site includes 16 hectares (44 acres) of registered ancient woodland and 17 km of relic ancient hedgerows and was acquired by the Trust in 2008. In addition, a number of other publicly accessible ancient woods lie close to the site, including Eight Acre Wood, Stocking Wood and Thames Wood. Heartwood also lies within a Biodiversity Priority Area and an Access Priority Area. There are a number of small ponds and evidence on the maps of 1843 that an orchard existed in the north east part of the site. Heartwood is adjacent to Nomansland Common, designated a Local Nature Reserve due to the rich mixture of habitat types found there.
This project provides a unique opportunity for the Trust to undertake a programme of community engagement and learning activities, to unlock Heartwood’s hidden heritage. We have the following aims:
• Protect ancient woodland within the site and, through additional tree planting and other conservation work, to create a landscape-scale woodland habitat. This will highlight the importance of our woodland heritage and its role in adaptation to climate change.
• Establish Heartwood as a regionally/nationally significant heritage site, a successful visitor destination and dynamic engagement resource.
• Significantly increase and enhance the opportunities for people to learn about, engage with and become inspired by Heartwood Forest’s heritage. This will engender a feeling of community ownership, and provide intelligence to inform future site management plans.
• Create opportunities for people to participate in activities focused on the natural, archaeological and social heritage of Heartwood Forest and by doing so develop new skills.
• Enhance and increase opportunities for public access at Heartwood Forest, working in partnership with local businesses and organisations.